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Spain exits the 'extreme risk' Covid zone by falling below an incidence rate of 250

An officer offers hydroalcoholic gel to a man at the Alcalá de Henares market (Madrid).
An officer offers hydroalcoholic gel to a man at the Alcalá de Henares market (Madrid). / EFE
  • Despite the national average, more than half of the population of Spain live in one of the eight regions - including Andalucía - that are technically still in an 'extreme risk' situation

The last time that Spain as a whole was outside the 'extreme risk' zone for the spread of Covid-19 was on Tuesday 22 December. On that date, the national 14-day cumulative incidence rate stood at 236 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Since then, and during the 63 days until this Tuesday (23 February), Spain has been hit hard by the ‘Christmas effect’ and the new strains that appeared in the country. On Wednesday 27 January the country touched an incidence rate of 900.

But this Tuesday the incidence rate finally dropped below the 250 'extremely high risk' bar. The rate had fallen to 235.84 cases, which places the country in a 'high risk' zone, but still very far from the ideal of 50 positives per 100,000 inhabitants which the Ministry of Health sets as the limit to be able to 'live' with the virus.

Of the 19 national regions, only the Canary Islands saw their cumulative incidence rate increase on Tuesday.

However, more than half of the population of Spain live in one of the eight regions that are technically still in an 'extreme risk' situation with an incidence of more than 250 cases. They are Melilla with 434.75; Madrid with 362.53; Ceuta with 331.46; Basque Country with 287.67; Aragon with 271.05; Andalucía with 261.12; Castilla y León with 252.10; and Asturias with 250.98.

This Tuesday the number of new daily coronavirus infections fell below 10,000, something that had not been seen for 75 days. There were 7,461 new positives recorded, a figure not seen in official statistics since 26 August of last year.

In just one week, cases have dropped 26 per cent compared to the 10,057 positives that were reported on Tuesday, 16 February. The third wave peaked with 44,357 positives on 21 January.

Hospital pressure

The decrease in infections, at least for the moment, are giving a little bit of respite to the healthcare system, which this Tuesday fell below 15,000 patients admitted with Covid for the first time since 8 January.

The occupancy of intensive care beds fell slightly to 31.04 per cent, one point down compared to Monday. And the number of general hospital beds occupied also decreased, from 33.02 to 31.04 per cent in 24 hours.

This Tuesday the Ministry of Health added 443 new deaths to its statistics, raising the total number of fatalities from the pandemic to 68,079.